Burt Jones holds huge fundraising edge over rivals in lt. gov race

Burt Jones, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, has greatly outraised his Democratic and Libertarian opponents, according to campaign finance documents filed last week.

Jones, a state senator from Jackson, received about $657,000 in campaign contributions between May 1 and June 30, the most recent filing period. He also loaned himself $2 million. He has raised about $2.7 million since announcing his campaign last summer and loaned himself a total of $4 million. As of June 30, Jones reported having $452,000 in his campaign account.

Charlie Bailey, the Democratic nominee, reported raising about $65,000 during the most recent filing period, totaling about $1.1 million in contributions since announcing his campaign in January. He reported having about $59,000 in cash on hand. Ryan Graham, the Libertarian candidate, reported raising about $6,000 for his campaign, including about $1,400 in contributions this filing period. Graham has a similar amount in his campaign account.

Jones, a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate who won a four-way Republican primary in May, has pulled in at least $50,000 from 16 Republican colleagues in the Legislature.

About 20 donors, including business organizations such as the Wholesale Distributors for Good Government political action committee and Senate colleagues such as retiring Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis, maxed out their contributions to Jones. State law caps contributions from individual donors at $7,600 for a primary and $7,600 for the general election.

Bailey, an attorney who lives in Atlanta, reported receiving 1,265 individual donations of $100 or less totaling about $4,300. His largest donor was Anil Damani, the president of an investment firm, who donated $10,000 to Bailey’s campaign — $5,000 for the primary and $5,000 for the general election. Bailey also reported receiving $4,500 each from former Gov. Roy Barnes, Barnes’ wife, Marie, and the Barnes Law Group.

Graham’s largest donor is the Libertarian Party of Georgia, which gave its candidate about $2,100.

Bailey, Graham and Jones are vying for the job being vacated by Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who is not seeking another term.

In addition to presiding over the Senate, the lieutenant governor is able to take a leadership role in shaping the state’s policy by appointing members to committees and calling legislation to the floor.

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